tv Martin Bashir MSNBC January 31, 2013 1:00pm-2:00pm PST
what's more, we've just ended the payroll tax cut so middle class folks will likely have less money in their pockets and may very well start spending less, too. we have also still got large sequester cuts on the horizon that could drive public spending down even further. and republicans still seem to think it might be fun to use a government shutdown or a debt ceiling crisis to force further cuts. you guys sure know how to show a gal a good time. there's no question over the long term we have to balance budgets and pay down our debts, but short-term deficit hawkishness is hurting us badly right now. our problem is not relief for storm victims or federal money for family planning services, it's a tax base that's too low to support rising health care costs and an aging population over the long term. let's deal with those problems over the long term. but for now, congress, how about we just try to avoid shooting ourselves in the foot. i know blaming government for a lack of spending is not the type of blaming government that the gop usually enjoys, but in lean times it's the only type of
blaming government that we can afford. you know what would really be great is some stimulus, but you understand that's probably too much to ask for. so for now let's just keep the government from reversing the private sector-led recovery that is already under way. all right. that does it for us here at the cycle and we've got karen finney in the chair for martin today. >> hey, thanks, guys. good afternoon. i'm karen finney in for martin bashir who is out sick on this thursday, january the 31st. republicans are going after one of the president's men. but did they get him? >> our men and women in uniform and their families must never doubt that their leader's first priority is them. >> our concerns pertain to the quality of your professional judgment. >> why do you think that the iranian foreign ministry so strongly supports your nomination to be secretary of defense? >> i have a difficult enough time with american politics.
>> i want to know if you were right or wrong. that's a direct question. i expect a direct answer. >> those who cried appease, appease are hanged by those they tried to please. >> it's a fundamental difference of opinion. >> appeasing our adversaries while shunning our friends. >> do you believe that all options should be on the table when we confront iran? >> absolutely. >> the question is were you right or wrong? that's a pretty straightforward question. >> well, i'm not going to give you a yes or no answer. >> well, let the record show you refused to answer that question. and we begin with clashes on capitol hill with president obama's second-term cabinet facing its first real fight. the confirmation for chuck hagel has just resumed. hagel is again being grilled by his former senate colleagues to be the next secretary of defense. earlier no one brought the heat
like hagel's self-described old friend john mccain. >> were you correct in your assessment? >> well, i would defer to the judgment of history to sort that out, but -- >> the committee deserves your judgment as to whether you were right or wrong about the surge. >> i'll explain why i made those comments -- >> i want to know if you were right or wrong. that's a direct question. i expect a direct answer. >> the surge assisted in the objective, but if we review the record a little bit -- >> will you please answer the question. were you correct or incorrect when you said that the surge would be the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since vietnam. were you correct or incorrect? yes or no? >> when given a chance to respond, here is what hagel said. >> the comment i made about the most dangerous foreign policy decision since vietnam was about not just the surge, but the
overall war of choice going into iraq. >> that point found broad support in our latest nbc news/"wall street journal" poll with nearly 6 in 10 americans saying the entire iraq war was not worth it. let's remember that the mccain/hagel grudge goes way back to comments, well, like these. >> well, i think our invasion and occupation of iraq represents one of the great blunters of american history, and we will pay a high price for this for a long time. >> now, that would be in march 2008. you remember, it's the year that barack obama won his first term as president defeating none other than john mccain. do you think mccain is still angry that hagel backed obama? holding a judge? no, never. if mccain played the betrayed besty, fellow republican lindsey graham took the role of disappointed dad over his remarks about the, quote, jewish
lobby. >> give me an example of where we've been intimidated by the israeli jewish lobby to do something dumb. regarding the middle east, israel, or anywhere else. >> well, i can't give you an example. >> thank you. do you agree with me you shouldn't have said something like that? >> not to be outdone, freshman senator ted cruz played the new kid on the block going multimedia and playing a video of a collar to an al jazeera broadcast. >> the caller suggests that the nation of israel has committed war crimes, and your response to that was not to dispute that characterization. i'd like to ask you, do you think the nation of israel has committed war crimes? >> no, i do not. >> cruz also asked hagel to defend himself against an e-mail from that same broadcast and actually took a statement about the quote sickening slaughter in the middle east wildly out of context. senator cruz is certainly looking to be the next gop star.
let's get right to our panel. msnbc political analyst jonathan alter joins me. a columnist for bloomberg view. in washington msnbc political analyst david corn of "mother jones" magazine. david, i want to start with you. we're going to come back to the newcomer ted cruz in just a moment, but the exchange between the old friends john mccain and mr. hagel, that was pretty tough, and i found it a little bit ironic that you had the sort of maverick going after the maverick on yet an issue that seemed very personal and that was sort of relitigating the iraq war, which was kind of their first break as friends. >> it was maverick on maverick violence. this is as close as we get to soap opera at a congressional hearing. you felt it, it was visceral, it was personal, and john mccain was being, let's face it, a bully. he was demanding that chuck hagel give him a yes or no answer when, indeed, this matter, if you ask a lot of foreign policy experts, is kind
of knotty. it's a dilemma. there's some people who believe the surge was a clear-cut win, but there are a lot of people in the foreign policy community who say that it might not have been a clear-cut victory or success, that it might have succeeded because they got lucky and ethnic cleansing had sort of led to a decrease in violence to begin with and that it certainly did not create the political space that it was supposed to create, the political consolidation that people wanted to see in iraq. so it's a very complicated issue. you know what? john mccain knows that. but the surge is his baby. it's what he ran on in 2008. he lost and he's out for revenge. >> and chuck hagel was -- it was a very important moment when chuck hagel as a republican came out against the surge. that was a big deal to them. jonathan, it also struck me watching these hearings just how differently mccain and hagel seem to have been impacted by their vietnam experience. hagel was quoted in vietnam
magazine last fall saying, quote, the night tom and i were medevacked out of that village in april 1968, i told myself if i ever get out of this and i'm ever in a position to influence policy, i will do everything i can to avoid needless, senseless war. now, that seems like a very sensible response. that also seems like a response that will color his judgment certainly as we look at winding down the war in afghanistan and sort of the rest of our presence in the middle east. and yet republicans seem to be using that against him. >> well, a little context. the tom that he refers to is his brother, tom hagel, who amazingly enough was in the same unit in vietnam. >> and they were both injured. >> chuck hagel saved his life. and then tom became a liberal and chuck became a conservative. and in 2000 i remember traveling with the mccain campaign. chuck hagel was one of the only members of the senate on the republican side who endorsed mccain, not george w. bush that year, and they were very close
friends, bonded by this vietnam experience. but men in war take different lessons. more often i think they go the hagel way, which is having seen war up close, they don't want to have other young men experience it if they don't need to. hagel, i think, restrained himself when mccain was acting like a bully today. he could have turned on him and said, you know, senator, yes or no, was going into iraq which cost more than 5,000 american lives and maimed permanently tens of thousands of americans, was that worth it? you supported it. was it worth it? he didn't do that. because obviously -- >> he knew that would not be a good idea. >> if you're the witness in a senate hearing, obviously you can't do that, but my point is this is not about the surge. it's about the larger question of whether it was right or wrong for us to be in iraq in the first place. >> right. >> and if you look at how mccain's responded to that experience over the years, you
have to say it's the complete opposite to the sentiments you just quoted from chuck hagel. you know, his convention speech in tampa, it seemed as if he was calling for six more wars and you remember when he ran in 2008, he would joke and say bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb iran. his approach to bringing the united states into conflict is not as somber. i hate to say this about somebody, but doesn't seem to be as somber and as well-considered as chuck hagels. >> it's just about torture, which he experienced personally. >> again, i think what we saw today on -- during the hearing was a very -- a more personal conversation both about iraq but also about sort of, you know, one breaking with the other, particularly given their history, but also it strikes me that this is, david, kind of the broader context of the republicans sort of concerns about president obama. when they talk about leading from behind and when the president talks about let's use
the military force as a last resort. it seemed like part of what the republicans were trying to do today was make sure that they pressed chuck hagel to be -- make it clear he will be very tough when it comes to the use of forces. >> well, i think the gop showed it's still the war party in a lot of ways. no second thoughts about iraq or even, you know, the way afghanistan was prosecuted. and they were bashing chuck hagel for agreeing with his boss in many ways and one of the most absurd moments was when senator inhofe, the ranking republican, went after chuck hagel for being part of global zero, an international group that wants to get rid of all nuclear weapons, not unilaterally. ronald reagan had the same goal and people like senator sam nunn and former ambassador burt have been in favor of things like this, too. and inhofe just acted like hagel
was some commie pinkco. >> hagel was not really prepared. >> the overall sense we're getting in terms of the early reports and obviously the hearings are still ongoing was hagel did not come off as prepared and did not seem to be doing very well. is that going to hurt his chances? >> it could. the next 24 to 48 hours are very important in terms of this nomination. he made some missteps on iran. he suggested we have a policy of containment towards iran, which is not true. that is no the obama policy. >> he then corrected himself though. gee has corrected himself but he needs to get on his game here or he could see his support erode. as it is, he's going to have to hold all of the democrats or almost all of them in order to be confirmed. >> you know, david, let's take a quick listen to lindsey graham and then we'll get your reaction. >> are we at war? >> we're at war in afghanistan. we're at war around the world with active -- >> so you agree -- do you agree that every senator, every member
of congress should be wide-eyed in understanding that when you vote on a defense budget, we're at war? >> yes. >> that was sort of a question in the form of a threat, but it's really a question about a changing military, isn't it, and sort of changing budgets and the changing reality of the challenges we're facing. >> well, what's funny is a lot of these senators are acting like this is new, all of a sudden we have a new obama foreign policy that chuck hagel is going to ram through somehow. for the last four years the president has been giving speeches, more importantly, acting consistent with a belief that we have to shift our view to conflict overseas, what acts of war we do prepare for, what we eschew and hague sel is sort in line with that thinking. this debate is not a new debate. obama has won election twice with this sort of policy. these guys are like generals fighting the last war -- >> and, of course, chuck hagel
would be the first head of the pentagon who was a grunt, who was an enlisted man. this would be a very important gesture. there are enlisted men and women all owe over this country for whom this would be a big deal to have one of their own at the top. that has not been talked about nearly enough. >> we are going to leave it there and we will see, as you pointed out, how this unfolds over the next 24 to 48 hours to see if he makes it through. thank you, david corn and jonathan alter. stay with us, much more ahead. but first, beyonce unplugged. ♪ brave, the brave >> thank you, guys, so much. any questions? ♪ you know my heart burns for you... ♪ i'm up next, but now i'm singing the heartburn blues.
moments ago the debt ceiling compromise passed the senate. that's a fiscal crisis temporarily averted. it comes just a day after we learn that gdp, that's the mesh shush of how well our economy is performing, contracted by 0.1%. here is how some of the financial media covered it. quote, the best looking contraction in gdp you will ever see. and, quote, don't freak out about gdp. so what's going on here? less government spending happened. primarily in defense. that overshadowed more spending on the part of consumers and businesses, which is what these reporters were actually looking at. for more we go to jared bernstein a senior fellow on the center of budget and policy priorities and jonathan capehart a political opinion writer for "the washington post." welcome to both of you. >> thanks, karen. >> okay, jared.
you know i like to come to you with these kinds of things. say what? it's good but it's bad? explain that one to me. >> well, sure. i mean, i already knew we were growing slowly. in fact, i'd say too slowly. i didn't think the economy was actually contracting before yesterday's report for the fourth quarter of last year. and i still don't think it's contracting. i think there were anomalies in this report. you mentioned the defense spending. there may have -- that may have something to do with looming sequestration if defense department officials decide we're not going to take on a new investment because we may be facing another $45 billion in cuts this year. the inventory accumulation, i don't want our listeners to start changing channels. >> i was going to say watch out. >> sorry. that's very volatile. my point is this, if you look at the year-over-year measure of gdp growth which is good to do in a situation like this, 1.5%. now, that's below trend and it's too slow to really knock the unemployment rate down, which is what we want.
we're not doing enough in the economy, but neither are we in recession. >> okay. if you understood that, great. here is what i understand in terms of the politics. we're seeing republicans though sort of suggesting that perhaps they can use this against the president because this gdp number kind of gives them some leverage. obviously we're going into sequestration and a whole host of fun fiscal talks, yes? >> sure. they've been doing it. this has been their line of argument. the thing i find very interesting here is so the contraction in gdp was because of contractions in defense spending, but it makes me think of the republican line is government is too big. government has to cut spending. we've got to cut spending. and so if this is what happens with, you know, defense spending on the government's part, then what does it mean for all the things that wall ryan and other republicans are demanding of the federal government? what will that -- what kind of impact will that have on
economic growth? they're not talking about cutting defense. they're talking about cutting programs and government spending in areas that are just not programs. they deal with people. if those folks lose their jobs that just happen to be in the government, which means they then can't spend their paychecks in communities which has a ripple effect, but i leave it to the economist. >> there's two di mentions to what jonathan was just saying. first of all, you're right, when you start cutting too deeply, particularly in the nondefense side of the budget, you're going to start hurting people. and, in fact, we've already done that and we're going to do more if we don't stop. but secondly, i have heard this incredible non sequitur come out of yesterday's gdp report, which is government was a drag on gdp growth because of less defense spending. therefore, we have to cut government spending. that makes absolutely no sense. that right there is the austerity calculation and it's backwards. >> jared, i want to ask you about that because, i mean, it seems to me this is the broad
conversation we're having. austerity versus investment. we have talked about the fact that in europe, where they were pushing austerity, now they're suggesting that that wasn't probably a very good idea. here at home as we're having this conversation, what gives us evidence in terms of this pushback that we need to not do more austerity but actually look for the way that is we need to actually make investments? >> i thought that the report yesterday was a good microcosm. what i was trying to say is we are growing too slowly. we're not contracting. we're clearly growing too slowly. government is now about 23% of the economy. it's a critical component, especially when the private sector is still kind of weak. so what we need to be thinking of now is not so much near-term deficit reduction but near-term jobs measures to help gave this nascent recovery more of a boost or we will see more reports that look like the one yesterday. the evidence for austerity is very, very negative, very clear. >> jonathan, we've seen positive
signs in domestic auto sales and the housing market, but one of the arguments we've been making is that the short-term fixes like today that was voted on today, this sort of lurching from three-month agreement to two-month agreement to however long agreement they can get, that that actually also erodes confidence and frankly the markets don't seem to like that. >> no, they don't. and while, yes, you get a short-term benefit by putting off this sort of doomsday armageddon discussion until may, but again people shouldn't underestimate the need and desire on the part of business people of wall street to have some kind of certainty. wall street probably couldn't care less what washington does with the debt ceiling and cuts and things like that as long as they know what washington will be doing over the next 12 months, 24 months, and this is pie in the sky, it will never happen, 36 months. >> how about that? so, jared, mitch mcconnell was on the floor of the senate on wednesday, and he said it's actually not new revenue that we
need, that it's cutting government waste as we've been talking about. >> right. >> let's listen to a few highlights. >> -- on pig manure. if they demand a one or fun ratio between tax increases and pig manure cuts, then there's really no hope of ever putting our country back on the path to prosperity. >> now, start with you, jared. correct me if i'm wrong, but isn't pig mature what paul ryan is actually trying to cut entitlements unless that's their word for entitlements? >> you know, there is no line in the government budget for waste, fraud, and abuse, although these guys pretend there is. when they talk about things like that, they don't know what they're talking about. during the recovery act people were attacking scientific research based on it having to do with something like ants or grasshoppers. turns out it was cancer research. this is blowing smoke. we've cut $1.5 trillion in
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from the national gun conversation and the gop's latino outreach to a toasted hagel on capitol hill, here are today's "top lines." >> too many children are dying. >> you're never going to get criminals to go through universal background checks. >> the great equalizer for women. the peace of mind that she has knowing that she has a scary looking gun. >> none of it makes any sense in the real world. >> women's second amendment right to choose to defend themselves. i don't think it's a laughing matter. >> you imagine something that hasn't even happened on television. >> i don't know very many mothers that want a 30 round clip in their home. >> isn't it time for him to put his pants on like a man, sit at the table, and accept responsibility? >> for the majority of americans who are support sif of immigration reform. >> why the sudden change, republicans? >> we are losing dramatically
the hispanic vote. >> okay. or that. >> a school in colorado allowed its students to say the pledge of allegiance in arabic. are muslims getting special treatment? >> can mogul al gore co-exist with activist al gore. >> my overyoul world view has never changed. america must engage in the world. not retreat from the world. i am fully committed to the president's goal of preventing iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. i have always said i am a supporter of israel. i'm committed to effectively and efficiently using every single taxpayers' collar the right way. i am fully committed to implementing the repeal of don't ask, don't tell. i will work with the service chiefs as we officially open combat positions to women. >> you said the surge would be the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since vietnam. i would like to answer whether you are right or wrong and then you are free to elaborate. >> i'm not going to give you a yes or no. i think it's far nor complicated. >> and to go on al jazeera, a
foreign network, broadcasting propaganda and to explicitly agree with the characterization of the united states as the world's bully is not the conduct one would expect of a secretary of defense. >> all right. let's get right to it. we're joined now by "washington post" political columnist dana milbank, professor james peterson of lehigh university, and msnbc contractor jimmy williams. dana, i'm going to start with you. we saw freshman senator ted cruz of texas making a big push in the spotlight. this time going after chuck hagel. he was one of three senators who streeted against john kerry's appointment of secretary of state. he seems to be staking out a specific territory for himself, sort of more on the right. but when you wrote about senator cruz during the election, you said that you were, quote, comforted by the theory that cruz is driven more by ambition than by tea party doctrine. so does that theory still give you comfort? >> it does, karen. i mean, i can't say that what he's doing right now is
reassuring for people who are seeking some sort of moderate and reasonable behavior. now, he voted against kerry most likely like his fellow texas senator john cornyn to appease the big donors down there in texas who have it in for john kerry. he's definitely been a real hotdog since he's arrived in the senate wanting to stir things up as much as possible. he's very careful though. so if he sees the winds beginning to blow another way from what we've seen in the past and i have known him for -- since a dozen years ago when he was a junior staffer on the bush campaign, what we know is that he'll go in that direction. and it seems that the tea party is receding a bit and you can bet that ted cruz will catch that wave. >> just as a follow-up to that, dana, in "the washington post" today there was an interesting story about the sort of fine line that cruz is actually trying to walk in terms of on the one hand the tea party but on the other hand sort of taking a vice chair position with the
national republican senatorial campaign committee, which we know jim demint refused to do. so he seems like he's trying to play it very carefully here. >> it's huge ambition, and the idea of embracing the tea party, look, this guy is not a fire breather. he's from the ivy league, from harvard law school. there's not a lot of evidence of outrageous political views in his past. he's doing it because that's where the power is in the party right now. and as soon as people start to realize that the power is shifting elsewhere, ted cruz will tone it down as well. the fact of the matter is if you want to be a success in today's republican party, you are still far more worried about primary challenges on the right than you are about cooperating with democrats or passing legislation. that's just the political reality that he's living with as opposed to what is genuinely ideology for him. >> jimmy, two other republicans who actually voted against the kerry nomination, james inhofe of oklahoma and cruz's fellow
texan john cornyn and "roll call" reports senator cornyn could be facing a primary opponent next year. kind of to the point dana is making, do you think he actually cast that vote against john kerry to stay closer to ted cruz and avoid a tea party challenger? >> i think that certainly was part of his thinking. if he didn't, then what an ironic kind of vote it would have been. cornyn is doing exactly what cornyn should do for the state of texas, for his primary. which is to move to the far right as dana just said. the problem with that is that i'm not sure how far right you must go on the republican side these days to not get primaried. let's take, for example, utah senator bob bennett. remember him? you couldn't get much more conservative than bob bennett, yet he was primaried in the state of utah. not a liberal bastion. and so i guess these days the tea party -- i have always said this and you heard me say this before, both sides have their fringes. the far left and the far right. it seems to me if you're looking
at the opposite end of the magnet, the far right has a far harder or far stronger pull on their party than the far left does. and that's why i think you're seeing cornyn and others do what they're doing today and will continue to do until barack obama is not president. >> so professor, speaking of another tea party darling, sarah palin actually campaigned to get tet cruz elected to the senate, and his star seems to have eclipsed hers. and unlike palin, ted cruz is i think known as someone who has some intellectual heft. he was william rehnquist's first hispanic clerk, he went to harvard law school like our president and alan dershowitz who said that cruz was off the charts brilliant. is he going to be the next hot shot of the tea party with a little bit -- with an extra dash of smarts? >> well, it's interesting. he's been referred to as the republican barack obama. i don't know about that particular analogy, but clearly his bona fides as a political thinker were established in the
ivy league and he seems to be, at least according to dana's chronically of his career, very, very shrewd. i would say in addition to him being an operator, he is also an identify l ideologue. i think he's going to have to smarten up a little biabout the direction the tea party is going to continue to go in terms of its vise grip control over the republican party because i'm not sure that can hold through immigration reform, through the series of different financial fiscal debt talks that have to occur. i think he will be smart in what he does. he has eclipsed palin. he's an ideologue in such a way that his charisma is not sort of dwarfed by that. his charisma shines through even though he has a right wing ideolo ideology. very complicated and interesting character and obviously we're going to be seeing a lot more of him. >> as you mention, i do think he presents himself with -- you can tell he's got sort of a slightly different background than some of the others in terms of sort of what he's done and where he's
been. now, you mentioned your column visiting the bush campaign back in austin in 2000 when you met ted cruz for the first time and he was working there. as a long time -- let's call you a student of this man, where do you see his career taking him? is he the new leader of the republican party? >> well, no, i'm not necessarily sure that's what he's doing. he's just been elected, so he's got six years to play with here, and, look, he wants to see what direction things are headed in. i think what his main goal right now is to get noticed, get his name out there. that's why you see him putting on a little video show at the chuck hagel hearing today. that's why you saw him having a chart of all these a scary looking guns in front of wayne lapierre yesterday. he's being a hotdog and a show boat to get his name out there. i don't see him having quite the charisma of say a marco rubio who got here first and has the
support of many of the same type of people. so i don't think he's necessarily first in line. he's not a 2016 candidate, but he's a very savvy guy who is going to figure out what it takes to keep his job and get ahead. >> jimmy, ted cruz isn't the only rising star on the right. you have got now virginia attorney general and perhaps the future kuch cuccinelli. he has a book coming out. he reportedly said, quote, sometimes bad politicians set out to grow government in order to increase their own power and influence. they often grow government without protest from citizens, and sometimes they even get buy-in from citizens, at least from the ones getting the goodies. that sounds a little bit like mitt romney and the 47%, doesn't it? >> no, it sounds a lot like it. except -- >> he didn't get the memo. >> that's right. he definitely got the memo. he's only running for governor of a state that barack obama has now carried twice. we know that it's a state with
an increasing african-american population, an increasing latino population. the suburbs around d.c. and down in the newport news and virginia beach area are growing and ber oning and the rural areas are becoming less rural. if he would like to take those ideas and espouse them in his one run for governor then he should do that, except it may not work very well for him in a state that's not just trending purple, it's trending blue. >> it sounds to me, that reads to me as though in terms of a strategy for a governor's race that the cuccinelli campaign knows there is a different swath of voters that they want to try and make sure that they turn out and they may not be some of the voters who turned out during the presidential race. >> to me just doesn't make a lot of political sense. when i say he didn't get the memo, he doesn't understand the damage the 47% kind of comment did to mitt romney's chances of being president, and a lot of that is localized state kind of voting daniel because at the end
of the day the 47% has a lot of republicans in it. the 47% is represented by a lot of red states. and so they have to have a different kind of conversation with that constituency to win them over. cuccinelli, like cruz in some ways, has really got to find his way in a moment where the republican party, i think, is going through a lot of sort of structural changes and wrestling with how to deal with a lot of national conversations that are pulling them more to the center. the kind of rhetoric we have seen coming from the right, yorn if that kind of rhetoric -- first, it didn't work in the presidential election. i don't know if it's going to work going forward. >> thanks so much. >> thank you. next, the president prepares to take his message on gun safety straight to the heart land. stay with us. and...done. did you just turn your ringer off so no one would interrupt us? oh no, i... just used my geico app to get a tow truck. it's gonna be 30 minutes. oh, so that means that we won't be stuck
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during his confirmation hearings. at today's white house briefing press secretary jay carney took exception to the idea hagel had shifted his views in order to lock up his confirmation. >> senator hagel's views are in the mainstream of the republican party and the democratic party and broader public opinion. who are hout of the mainstream are those who are suggesting otherwise. >> we're youned by nbc news white house correspondent kristin welker live at the white house. thanks for joining me. >> reporter: thanks for having me. >> the so the hearing is going on, mixed reviews. how concerned or is the white house concerned about hagel's performance today? >> reporter: i think the white house was prepared for this to be a tough confirmation hearing. i have been speaking to my sources here who say that there have been tough confirmation hearings in the past. they cite the confirmation hearing of treasury secretary timothy geithner. but they still feel confident that he has a very good chance of getting confirmed in large part because you do have these senators who have come out and
expressed their support for him in recent days, including chuck schumer as well as republican thad cochran. they're feeling confident he will get confirmed. there's no doubt that today's hearing was at some moments tough for chuck hagel. he got a lot of tough questions. white house press secretary jay carney in addition to that sound bite you just played, karen, was also on the defense at a number of moments during today's press briefing. but he reiterated the president's belief that chuck hagel is the right person for the job. so that is where they stand right now, but, of course, the hearings aren't over yet and they're watching them quite closely. >> and hagel has not only faced quite a bit of hammering on the hill, but quite a bit of money being spent against him. nbc news white house correspondent kristin welker, thank you so much. next, an ar-15, is it the perfect accessory? stay with us.
we all remember gabby giffords testimony on wednesday, but the gun lobby also had a woman to speak for her side of the gun debate and she made quite an impression. >> you are not a woman stuck in her house having to defend her children not able to leave her child, not able to go seek safety on the phone with 911, and she cannot get the police there fast enough to protect her child. and she's not used to being in a firefight. an assault weapon in the hands of a young woman defending her babies in her home becomes a defense weapon, and the peace of mind that a woman has as she's facing three, four, five violent attackers, intruders in her home with her children screaming in the background, the peace of mind that she has knowing that she has a scary looking gun gives her more courage when she's fighting hardened, violent
criminals. >> let's bring in msnbc contributor joy reid. so, joy, i want to ask you this question. if guns actually make women safer, then why does research suggest that actually women experience more violent deaths in states where there are more guns? >> right. >> why is it that women who are the victims of domestic violence are five times more likely to be killed in a home where there is a gun present? >> yeah. i mean, and you're absolutely right. the logic that gail trotter was trying to put forward doesn't stand up to the fact that if you look at more than a half a million women every year are the victims of domestic violence and that a woman is much more likely to be killed by her partner than she is by a stranger. i mean, the scary scenario that she let out, maybe the nra is right, maybe the movies are the problem. she didn't cite a single case that actually was like that. all of these armed intruders coming in so you need a 30-clib
magazine to defend yourself. she didn't talk about a case like that. the real violence against women is usually one-on-one violence in which a woman is more likely to be killed by a gun even if it's hers than to use it to defend herself. >> the thing that struck me about the argument she was trying to make, nobody is saying that if you're a woman and you want to have a gun and go through legal procedures you can't have a gun. that's not -- she was trying to make an argument, sort of a fake argument. doesn't really exist. i guess she's suggesting thea r-15 is one that women specifically need because ths big around scary. >> nobody is talking about taking away, confiscating, or banning handguns. >> or saying you can't get a gun legally. >> what people are saying is does that woman in the scenario she's describing need to be able to empty 100-round clip into this supposed fictional attacker? she couldn't name a single case where that was necessary unless a woman, of course, is going to war. then she had definitely need that kind of gun.
>> gayle trotter spoke vividly about the horrors of violence against women. she wrote opponents say it embraces gender stereotypes by casting women as victims and men as abusers. so in light of her testimony, i thought that was kind of an interesting take. let's take a listen. >> if we ban these types of assault weapons, you are putting women at a great disadvantage more so than men because they do not have the same type of physical strength and opportunity to defend themselves in a hand-to-hand struggle. >> so, okay, we shouldn't use stereotypes of women as the weaker sex but then go and use the stereotypes in a different setting? is that what we were hearing? >> i think what you're seeing is somebody in gayle trotter who is essentially taking on this advocacy for political reasons.
she has never been a gun control expert or advocate really before this month. it's the first time you have ever really heard her even writing or speak being this issue. and the organization she heads, its purpose is to make conservative principles more palatable, nor popular with women. so her idea is to sell ideas to women that will make them more conservative. and being against the violence against women act, which is something she has been, when she made that argument it was because it was cruel to men. so first here she's couching it as we have to guard against these scary men who are bigger than us and stronger than us -- >> and outnumber us. >> and her previous argument was we have to protect the men from women who are going to lie about them being abusers. >> a little consistency, wouldn't that be fresh? that would be so nice. it also strikes me part of the point is, you know, so she's saying, you know, women need this very specific kind of scary looking gun, but we know from some of the incidents that we've seen one person with a gun up
against another person with a gun, i mean, that's not necessarily going to end very well. >> not really. you're more likely to get your gun taken from you and used on you if you try to use a gun against this scary looking person. the one case she cited specifically was a case of a woman who defended herself and her child with a shotgun, not an ar-15, not a gun with a 100-round clip, against an assailant with a knife. and that is a much more common scenario and a scenario which would not be impacted in any way by the passage of the laws we're talking about. >> do women need to accept the idea we need assault weapons or that we're weaker than men? is that the gist here? i know you're going to say no. >> i think that's what gayle trotter is saying. she needs to get her arguments straight. if she's saying women are no weak that they need to have an assault weapon, first of all, she should cite some statistic has show that women have used assault weapons in the way she says. second of all, she needs to argue against herself because she argued for a woman being able to do exactly what she says with a shotgun which is legal
and which would be legal for all time. >> a lot of mixed messages for women. >> kind of confusing. >> we can fight in con bat but you need an ar-15. >> i would love to know what she thinks about women in con bat. she hasn't been consistent and what she's doing is trying to sell women on conservatism. >> thanks, joy reid. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back. ♪